Tornado Facts!

It's time to take shelter, gang - because here at National Geographic Kids, we're about to learn all about one of nature's most powerful and destructive forces!



Check out our ten top facts about tornadoes...

1) Tornadoes - also known as 'twisters' - are violently rotating columns of air that reach from a storm cloud to the earth's surface.

2) The winds of a tornado can reach speeds of up to 480km per hour - that's strong enough to peel the roofs off houses, uproot trees and hurl heavy objects, such as cars, hundreds of metres!

3) Tornadoes come in different shapes and sizes. Some may appear as wide funnel-shaped clouds, others as thin rope-like swirls stretching from the ground to the sky.

4) The duration of tornadoes, and the distance they travel, varies. Most last less than ten minutes and travel five to ten kilometres before disappearing. In extreme cases, however, they can last several hours and cross distances over 150km!

5) Tornadoes are measured using the Fujita Scale (or F-scale), ranging from F0 to F5, with F5 being the strongest and most destructive.

6) The deadliest tornado ever recorded was in Bangladesh in 1989. As it travelled through the Dhaka region of the country, more than 20 villages were destroyed and around 1,300 people were killed.

7) Most of the world's tornadoes occur in the United States in what's known as Tornado Alley. Stretching from west Texas to North Dakota, this area can see more than 200 tornadoes each year!

8) If a tornado occurs over water, it's called a waterspout.

9) Not all tornadoes are easy to see. In fact, they can be invisible until they pick up dust and debris, or a cloud forms within the spinning funnel.

10) The formation of a tornado is so complex that scientists still don't completely understand it. And what's more, the unpredictability of tornadoes makes them difficult - and dangerous - to study. A tornado will demolish everything in its path, including measuring equipment. And so, the secrets behind this incredible force of nature are yet to be discovered...


Photos: Getty Images UK

Your Comments

Catherine h
Thanks for the help!!!!
bart
yebio
Aryan1234
OUTRAGEOUS
Aryan1234
INTRETIIIIIIIIIIIIING FACTS
Anonymous78975983475893759
Awesome!!!
cool11
coo.
Anonymous78975983475893759
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Anonymous78975983475893759
DEM GRAMMERZ BE EPIC!!!
drue
i like turtles
learner111
Wow scary
learner111
That looks scary
boyogodo
i wasnt so happy about this i was epecting more exciting facts
calebdaboss
OMG
tonice
cool
Meman
Amazing
adrain
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adrain
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adrain
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adrain
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student from brf _school22
good and true facts!
Bellaoscar
Helpfull
Sup!
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Colourfully Awesome 123456789
THE BEST!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
John 1133
I love this website it is great for kids and adults who want to learn about different things
John 1133
Cool and great
gysjvvvvvvvvveh
I love learning about tornadoes
snake
bla bla bla
NUNU
WOW thats AWSOME
pugs_rule2006
WOW
tanya101111111111
cool
lajuy
its awesome
NJSCULLY
Interesting
alexis johnson
i like this website
jessica12345
did not help at all
hihihihi
hihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihihi
Cool kid3000
That's cool Yo
Darklord3333
Glad this doesn't happen in the uk
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BIGBADWOLFENDY
Pretty cool right ppl!
Milly_Musgrave
Awesome facts and cool features ! Nonstop coolness !
bob
incredibly awesome
nylahlol
hi
hihihihi
hi hi hi hi hi hi hi hi hi hi WHY AM I DOING THIS?
nicolr
love the fats alot and help me with my project thank u so much
nicolr
love the fats alot and help me with my project thank u so much
ndjsjcs
You should add games.
Looc
Cool
mercdes
cool
JAYDIN
WAS UP BRUH 1738 WHACH ME WIP
riirirrfr8585
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nylahlol
hi people of the world!
jkdjkdjw
Bruh boaring
elowen
cool
1337SuperCreepyDude1134
LOL!
lolking4u
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lolking4u
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ur_mom
scary...
1337SuperCreepyDude1134
SCARRRY
nylahlol
hi i love Tornados!
Ikra
Lol
Sonji
❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
kimbwerly
i love this it helped me very much
Hahahha
Amazing, I knew most of it but I learnt some
EdiTH8
epic
eatmycrap
nice
rainbows
cool but dangeros
cdxfvghhb
oh this is like the best I can not believe it mates this is cool its my topic in school natural disasters
Kayden
Cool
chelsey
cool
jaxonwesley
awesome
jaxonwesley
I am doing this for my project and i am so exited so thank you so much ngkids
Shadowthewolf
Gift me on aj plz I got scammed I'm called shadowthewolf80
gamergod52
THANKS 4 THEM MAD FACTING SKILLZ CUS U HELPED ME IN MAGCSE PE
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
only one got me intrastided
domonic
cool website
petra
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sandani
thanq so much...this is very hepfulll
dogman
very useful for my project
poli
cccccccccoooooooooooollllllllllll and scrary
Kristyna
Coooooooooooooooooooooooool!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Kristyna
Gig
2
STUPID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
fdnvceujdfhc
cool!
bff101
ef5 are the deadliest tornado ever and this website need to get ef5 facts now.thanksss
huhuihui
i hat that
Darshzenmistry26
I know how people survive tornadoes !!! When an American house is built near Tornado Alley , apart from a basement a bunker made out of 4-6 inches thick is made and in the house's security system a siren and detector for tornadoes are fitted so in case of a tornado about a hundred meters away the siren goes off in time for everyone to grab their prized possessions and other items and get into the bunker . That's how people survive tornadoes without dying . If anyone has questions ask!
supersamuel99
h
supersamuel99
Tornado's are EPIC!!! The way they form is sooooo coooool. They are vile beasts and thats what I like about them
Maxinemarianesleta
This is very terrifying and interesting at the same time
nomwa
these facts are so iteresting!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! thanks!
lol2155
thx for the facts
Evangeline145
Wow.
syd
It is cool and awsome and great and greater and greater
princess101
awsome
dtmoniu
I was tring to write a report and you gave a lot of good info and nice pics
Sleepystoneaj
Cool!
Bonnie99
I think this website is amazing because I use it for tornadoes.
RUBY10
VERY HELPFUL
EpicNature
Wow, that's really interesting! I never knew they can cross distances that fast!
ayshan
thanks so much
ayshan
good!
rainbowunicornzforever624
i found this very helpful
WWWWWW
WOW
WWWWWW
This is cool
WWWWWW
HI BRYN!!!!!!
i02
lel
i02
hi
Izzienzo01
I WANT TO KNOW MORE, MORE!
River.T.Beckham9999
cool :0
RainbowBlitz99
LOVE this website, it's so useful to use for homework
mikeyman429
overwhelmed with so many cool facts,sad and interesting ones too!!!!!!
jaden2005
i love this website!it has alot of info
Michael
Haven't seen a tornado in six years and the last time it was a F0 so I was fine and well
Tasneem
It's sad that so many people died in Bangladesh. Also I'm from there and so are my parents.
Tyj355
Cool
Sweetie151
Thanks Nat geo Kids for helping me complete my speech
saister
this helped me on my project
Rufus
I think these facts are amazing and better for the children's educations
animal-lover
this is so awesome!!!!
ALol
Omg
opticviper
coooooooooollllll
Zia
I'm loving the facts its just awesome
Alva
So cool I like the pics and really good info:)
Blasè Hernandez
Awesome
Blasè Hernandez
Good for my homework
aydin
helped me a lot
emily1212
cool!
Meekamilksake34
So good for my homework! :)
bonnietownshend
this really helped me with my assesment :)
angala
intresting
m12
i like it
aphmoo
cool info
IHeartMyMojo11
I am sooooooooooooooo scared of tornadoes!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! But idont think we get them in the uk. you can never be to sure........
fox5125
Cool!
UFH
NICE FACTS
Caitliniscool
Cool
lilly
cool
Dinogirl
Tornadoes are awesome!
Rainbow_Beetroot
SO COOL!! I learnt so much and the pictures are so scary but very cool
2435617
I am so glad that i live in UK.
Aditri
interesting!
Bobble
Those pics are like so scary WAAAAAA
maddison106
this is some scary stuff i want to be near a twister but then again id rather be in northern ireland cause there is not snakes or massive spiders or twisters or tsuiami's really nothing to bad except for rain rain and more rain including snow
camila
cool - this is some facts I never knew about
Garfield10
Nice facts I'm useing them in school work
MJT
Cool but needs more information
minecrafter
cool
ayanda
love this so much
andile
so awsome
populatgirl15
awesome
Lucio
Cooooooooooool
Holly18327
Amazing! I never knew most of the worlds tornadoes occur in the united states!
Averil
Love the info
oldmanisc00l
I like the elipsis at the end! F R E A K Y
Sru
Amazing
Avathebest
this really helped
zac373
Cool!
nelliephant
loved this . was very helpful
bird
so intresting
Alex639
Cool
BirdGuy121
So cool!!!!!!!!
HYDELEADERSHIP0
cool web page
Arty
i hope one does not hit
12Charlotte21
how do u know all this?
Amelia 123
that is unbelievable
Lucio
Cool
Harricane
This is gr8
mel
very cool. i wouldn't like to be in that tornado
Miss Mistery 3342254412
I am I am not in a tornado !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
RealDanTDM
Cool but fell bad for the people who died in this incident
RealDanTDM
COOL
allison
wow cool
andrue
this is an awesome web
princess
I'm doing a project
Mge
Lol nice facts
Mge
Awesome facts about tornadoes gave me a lot of ifirmates
Elliebooks
Thanks for this doing a project this will be in it;)!
zahraa12345
im doing a project about tornados
zahraa12345
i lik these fact
pragna
Wow that looks cool but I do feel sorry for the people which died in this indecent
D
Cool
Skyler
These facts helped a lot
CoolBeinn
Tornados are cool but I wouldnt want to be in one!
Mattyb
Cool facks great:)
MIKIE
THESE ARE GOOD FACTS
my names Jeff
Tornadoes are awesome
elder
tornados are cool.
ml
great facts
HI
briana
Tornadoes are awesome. i wish i can see on in real life not just on tv
briana
Tornadoes are awesome. i wish i can see on in real life not just on tv
kaitlynVas
cool, but I hate tornados
CrazyCoaCoa
IM USING THIS FOR MY HOMEWORK!!!
Shianne_Boltz_Cx_202
Nice Site about tornadoes
masonfeenan
awesome information dude
amandaliu
awesome information!
amandaliu
awesome information!
Ellie
Who soo call
dgsh
is it calm inside a tornaido
Roseberryapple
My brother was at the train waiting for my dad when a tornado came
Emma
This really helped me with my project
Walter
Wow how do people survive this?
yolo
Wouldn't want to be stuck in one of those!
Amelia
crazy and very CREEPY
Walid
now that is very interesting ð
danil
tornados are relly cool,but these are asome!
oshie
how do you know this?
Funky_Monkey321
I don't think that they are cool at all! Just think of the people who wake up one morning and find out that half of their house by a what...Tornado!!! I have to admit that they look quite cool though.
adiara
i know it is so cool but scary in a tsunami or a tornado
Hayden
I really love tornadoes, because they spin around very fast and I love learning about them.
Lol
:O TORNADO RUN!!!!!!!! I SAW A CYCLONE ONCE ALL IT DID WAS THROW BINS AROUND IN THE AIR SO BE CAREFULL
mamaduff
great it looks so DANGEROUS!!!!!!! Scary too
mamaduff
this is a very good website for finding out information, the only thing you could add is videos of these real things happening
Jorel
Wow! Tornado Valley is sure a DANGEROUS place!
Anish
Strange, wheres my trampoline?
amy
this is terrifying help!help!help!
jude
my house has blown away just reading about it
justine
this has really good facs
turtleshell1000
this is whirly!
Roman
Well, i think they are not going to find out forever because its to dangerous to go into a tornado.(the secret of the tornado.)
Danish
Spine thrilling!
Ria
Tornadoes are SO FREAKS OF NATURE!
Henrika
Great homework help!
Josh
My house fell down!
liz
awesome I love tornadoes!!
Amber
Cool
alice
interesting facts
Georgina
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